Gov. Walz announces $26M federal grant to improve services to families with young children

Published 5:58 am Saturday, December 21, 2019

Gov. Tim Walz has announced that Minnesota has received a $26.7 million federal grant to support critical early childhood services.

Gov. Tim Walz

Based on feedback from over 130 community listening sessions, the funding will be used to improve how state systems serve families with young children. It will invest in a whole-family approach to how the state delivers services, connecting young families to local resources in education, health, human services, housing, and transportation, among others. The grant is a partnership between three state agencies and the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet.

“Minnesotans agree that they want our state to be the best place for children to grow up, no matter who they are or where they’re from,” Walz said in a release issued Thursday. “This federal support will help achieve that goal by putting children at the center of government and helping connect families with the support they need to thrive.”

  The federal funding from the Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five will create Help Me Connect, a series of regional hubs and an online system that will link families to a multitude of community services. The Minnesota Departments of Education, Health, and Human Services continue to conduct extensive stakeholder and community feedback while implementing improvements to government systems. The grant will be awarded to Minnesota over the next three years.

“I am excited to improve the way families find and connect to services in our communities,” said Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker. “Our students will be more successful when our partnerships begin with their families early. When we partner together, beginning with early learning, to help students succeed and thrive, we will expand opportunities, close gaps and end disparities throughout Minnesota’s public education system.”